Sample Preparation Chip for PCR Detection of Water Borne Pathogens

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2007-33610-18399
Agency Tracking Number: 2005-00192
Amount: $346,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
11609 Lake Potomac Drive, Potomac, MD, 20854
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Peixuan Zhu
 (240) 453-6265
Business Contact
 Peixuan Zhu
Phone: (240) 453-6265
Research Institution
Illnesses due to waterborne pathogens are a substantial health risk, as seen in the E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks of 2006 that were traced to fecal contamination of fresh produce irrigation water. Additionally, there is the possibility of deliberate contamination of our water, and hence our food supply, by terrorists. However, water samples are not analyzed directly and rapidly, because sample matrices are too dirty, and because the concentration level of pathogens of interest are usually too low. In Phase I of this USDA SBIR, we demonstrated that a pathogen (E. coli O157:H7) can be concentrated and purified from large water samples for PCR, improving the sensitivity of that subsequent analysis. Two turbulent mixing techniques were evaluated to enhance the pathogen capture. The objective of this Phase II SBIR is to develop a flow cell product to isolate and concentrate target pathogens from large samples or continuous flow of surface and irrigation water and prepare the DNA for real-time PCR detection. The effort involves development of a pathogen concentration flow cell that can handle 10-100 milliliter sample sizes to unrestricted continuous flow. We will also develop assays to utilize the features of the flow cell. Anticipated results are flow cells that can process water sample for DNA testing of pathogenic E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella in 1-2 hours. Further development can expand the number of waterborne pathogens and expand the application to testing of food, drinking water, recreational water, reclaimed water, and to potential bioterrorism agents.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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